Irish sea moss is a jelly-like substance that has recently gained popularity after promotion from celebrities like Kim K. Despite its name, Irish sea moss is actually an algae, a type of seaweed, and no moss. We can mostly find this substance on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean in North America, Britain, and Europe as well.
For domestic purposes, people mainly use Irish sea moss as a food substance. It is slowly garnering the reputation of a superfood because of the myriad of benefits it has and it is also useful in vegan recipes.
Uses in Foods:
Irish sea moss can be used in a wide variety of foods and recipes. It may taste slightly like regular seaweed or it may taste mostly salty, however, if you rinse it thoroughly that taste is usually lost as well. If it still has a slight taste, you will probably not be able to notice once it is mixed in with other foods for a recipe.
The most common use of Irish sea moss that is seen so far is in smoothies. You can make a delicious cacao smoothie with Irish sea moss by tossing it in with some almond milk, a banana, a couple of dates, raw cacao powder, some salt, vanilla extract, and coconut oil.
You can also use it in a traditional vegan Jamaican drink with almond milk, vanilla extract, nutmeg, and cinnamon. If you are extra conscious about your health you can even use a dash of prepared Irish sea moss in your green smoothies with cucumbers, kale, and spinach. One of the best aspects of Irish sea moss is how versatile it is.
As a Natural Thickener
Irish sea moss gets its jelly-like quality because of a substance known as carrageenan, which is one of its constituents. Carrageenan is used as a thickening agent in soups and other vegan recipes because it is an alternative to gelatin. Soups are not the only recipe this can be useful for though, carrageenan can thicken jams, jellies, stews, and even ice cream. It may just be the ingredient you need to diversify your vegan journey!
Irish sea moss can be used in salads in a variety of ways, be it as a salad dressing in its prepared form or by itself to enhance the texture of the salad. Prepared Irish sea moss can be tossed with some lemon, olive oil, and black pepper to make a delicious salad dressing. You can add unprepared, washed seaweed to your regular lettuce and cucumber salad to add an interesting new texture and a slightly salty enhancement.
While prepared Irish sea moss might be a bit difficult to take in on its own because of its gelatinous texture, you can eat Irish sea moss on its own as well, make sure you wash it thoroughly first. It does not taste like much so there is a high chance that you will get bored of it and will want to eventually add it to recipes that we have shared.
Uses in Skincare:
It has recently been discovered that topical applications of Irish sea moss can be just as beneficial for us as ingesting it. By this, of course, we mean that we can use prepared Irish sea moss in our normal skincare routine to reap some of its many benefits. Here are some ways you can make effective topical use of Irish sea moss.
In a Face Mask
Using Irish sea moss in a face mask will keep your skin moisturized and impart a fresh glow to your face as well. Combine prepared Irish sea moss with tea tree oil, turmeric, aloe vera gel, honey, green tea, or any other natural substance for the desired effect. Apply to your face. With a brush and leave it on for 15 minutes. Rinse off the mask and apply moisturizer to lock in the effect.
If you do not want to make your own Irish sea moss face mask, you can probably find one from a local skincare brand or an organic store.
In a Hair Mask
Irish sea moss is rich in iron and can therefore be excellent for preventing hair fall. Other than that, Irish sea moss can also promote hair growth and leave your scalp moisturized and impart softness to your hair.
You can use Irish sea moss for your hair on its own or use it in conjunction with other ingredients or a pre-made hair mask. To use it on its own, massage your scalp with prepared Irish sea moss and emulsify it in your hair all the way from the roots to the tips. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes and rinse it off while showering. To use Irish sea moss with another hair mask just follow the instructions on your hair mask.
Is it Safe?
Irish sea moss is a perfectly safe substance to use in your diet and even for topical application, as long as you don’t get it in sensitive areas such as your eyes. The FDA does not regulate Irish sea moss so you need to be vigilant in only obtaining it from a reliable source.
Other than that, you must keep in mind to not consume too much Irish sea moss. The recommended amount you can take per day is 1-2 tablespoons or about 4-8 grams of the substance per day. Any more than that might cause digestive issues but it is overall not a toxic substance.
Besides all that, you must also keep in mind to thoroughly wash Irish sea moss before you put it in any foods because the salt content of unwashed Irish sea moss can cause water retention, bloating, and also be harmful to people who have high blood pressure.
Stay within the defined limits and Irish sea moss can be a highly beneficial substance that you can incorporate into your daily life, be it for consumption or healthy skin and hair.